Newsletter June 9 2021

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

Dear Friends, this is a lengthy newsletter due to the fact that A LOT has taken place over the last week that requires our prayer and discernment. Please read through all the material and note the updates from session and announcements at the end.

REGARDING THE ATTACK ON A MUSLIM FAMILY in LONDON, ON:

Like many of you my heart breaks at the news of the intentional attack on a Muslim family while they were out walking in London, Ontario.  May we not only mourn alongside all who have been affect, may we not only stand in solidarity with the Muslim community but also may we learn from one another and discover the intricate way in which we are similar and see the ways in which we are all created in the image of God. My graduate thesis focused on the importance of inter-faith dialogue as a way for the church to exist in the future. Even though I wrote it 14 years ago I still feel that way. Interfaith dialogue is central to who we are as Christians and will help us be a better church.

REGARDING RECENT DISCOVERY IN KAMLOOPS:

Speaking of trying to be a better church a few of you asked for a copy of the words I shared on Sunday regarding the recent discovery of 215 unidentified graves of children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Throughout it’s history the Presbyterian Church in Canada ran 11 residential schools on behalf of the Canadian Government including one in Port Alberni and another in Ahousat until 1925. The last two schools run by the church were transferred to the government in 1969.

Here is the recent statement from the Presbyterian Church in Canada:

We grieve with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, who has just released news that the unidentified graves of 215 children have been found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C. The devastating pain and loss this news triggers are not isolated to Kamloops, but is shared by all who lost family, friends or community members to Indian Residential Schools. So many Indigenous children never came home from the schools where they were forcibly taken, and the weight of the trauma that loss has wreaked in Indigenous communities, in which the church shared a large role, is still causing intense harm today.

In humility, the church calls for a time of prayer and lament to honour the lives of those children whose graves were just found and for all family, friends and communities who have lost loved ones through the Indian Residential School system—for whom this news opens fresh wounds. We also call for a time of reflection and re-commitment to reconciliation. As we approach the month of June, which is National Indigenous History Month, we encourage all church members to reflect on the harmful history in which we have been involved, and from that reflection seek renewed ways to work for healing and reconciliation with Indigenous people.

REGARDING INCLUSION OF LGBTQI+ in the PCC: 

On June 8 the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada passed the following motions:

  • The Presbyterian Church in Canada holds two parallel definitions of marriage and recognizes that faithful, Holy Spirit filled, Christ centred, God honouring people can understand marriage as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman or as a covenant relationship between two adult persons. That congregations, sessions, ruling and teaching elders be granted liberty of conscience and action on marriage.
  • It was also passed that LGBTQI people (whether married or single) can be ordained and are welcome to serve as ministers and ruling elders.

I know that there is a diversity of opinions within our congregation but I celebrate that these motions allow for this diversity. I celebrate that I have family and friends who can feel welcomed in our denomination regardless of orientation or opinion. I am pleased to uphold these recommendations based on my own interpretations of scripture but also find joy in the ability to listen to others in their interpretations. Please don’t hesitate if you would like to have a discussion regarding full inclusion with me.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The All God’s Creatures Bible study continues this Thursday at 7pm over Zoom. Our discussions were so fruitful last week that we didn’t get through all of the first week study and we decided to pick up where we left off. I have attached the Scripture readings and questions handout we will be following on Thursday. Below is the Zoom info:

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church is inviting you

to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: All God’s Creatures Bible Study
Time: Jun 10, 2021 07:00 PM Vancouver
Every week on Thu, 3 occurrence(s)
Jun 10, 2021 07:00 PM
Jun 17, 2021 07:00 PM
Jun 24, 2021 07:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting
Bible Study June 10

Dial by your location
+1 778 907 2071 Canada

Meeting ID: 846 8291 7159
Passcode: 410979
__________________________________________

UPDATES FROM SESSION:

The Session met on June 8th to discuss returning to in-person worship. Due to the upcoming pre-recorded shared services and August holidays it was decided that we would hold in-person worship the last three Sundays of the month from June to July (June 27, July 25 and Aug 29). Priority will be given to those without internet. We will follow all covid protocols which at this stage means no group singing, wearing masks at all times (unless you are at the lectern/pulpit speaking) and keeping 2m apart. Registration will also be required. To register go to:

https://rsvp.church/r/YBfH0va3

 

The Session is excited to support Alison van Schie of Alongside Caregiver Consulting who has offered to provide a support group for caregivers (spouses, children, friends) at and for our church. Further information to come.

 

 

Newsletter June 3 2021

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

Mike and I had a nourishing break, camping in and around Sayward. A BIG THANK YOU to Jessica Foy who not only provided the message but also edited the service for this past Sunday. I found her message moving and inspiring. While it did rain a couple of times on our trip we both commented on how the forest seems brighter after a shower. Perhaps, we can liken our current experience of the pandemic to a rain shower…a little dreary, muddy and tough going at times, but we will be brighter people for it. This week’s sermon focuses on Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians in which he says, “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weigh of glory beyond all measure” (2 Corinth 4:17). It is my prayer that we will eventually be able to see this pandemic as a momentary affliction in the near future!

 

I have received many questions about our return to in-person worship. This is a decision that is made by the session and it will be discussed at our upcoming session meeting on June 8th. Your elders need to know how you feel. Please let them know what you think about a return to in-person worship. Any variation of an in-person worship will follow all provincial health guidelines.

This week we begin a 4 week Bible Study series entitled All God’s Creatures. Our first session will be June 3rd (TONIGHT) at 7pm over zoom. Below is the Zoom invite. The first week’s handout has also been attached to this email.

ZOOM INVITE FOR BIBLE STUDY:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84682917159?pwd=NC9MSWN6VUxQSGVrUjlkT0hBNGZkdz09

 

 

Dial by your location

+1 778 907 2071 Canada

 

 

Meeting ID: 846 8291 7159

Passcode: 410979

A reminder that we will be celebrating communion THIS SUNDAY during our regular live-streamed service. You are welcome to participate by having your own elements (bread and juice/wine) prepared.

 

Everyone is invited to join us in virtual coffee hour on Thursdays at 10:30am over zoom. To find the zoom link go to our website cvpc.ca and click the “Coffee Hour” tab followed by the zoom link.

 

Newsletter May 6, 2021

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

This week’s newsletter will be brief! My role as Moderator has picked up lately given some emergent meetings and upcoming vacancies in the Presbytery. But this is all part of being a connective church! Please pray for those churches throughout our denomination who are experiencing vacancies during this challenging time.

I will be away on holidays May 24-31st. My very best friend and student at Knox College,
Jessica Foy will be providing a pre-recorded service on our YouTube channel for May 30th.
We will celebrate the sacrament of communion on Sunday June 6th during our live-stream.Please have your own elements prepared.

UPCOMING BIBLE STUDY: “ALL GOD’S CREATURES” A four week Bible study
will begin June 3 and will run every Thursday at 7pm over Zoom until June 24 (4 weeks).
We will use Scripture to help us understand our relationship with all of God’s creatures,
great and small.

India is currently in the midst of a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases, threatening its healthcare system and leaving already vulnerable families in crisis.

For more than a week, over 300,000 cases have been diagnosed daily. So far over 220,000 people have died in India and the crisis is only worsening.

Immediate needs are access to health care, medical supplies, and medicines, particularly oxygen. There is an urgent need to educate people on risk prevention and address vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine supply is insufficient and inaccessible to many, leaving herd immunity out of reach.

PWS&D is preparing to respond with its partners and ACT Alliance members in India to support people who are sick or quarantined at home with provisions to buy medicines and for other emergency needs. Additionally, they will work with communities to share messages on infection prevention and control, as well as information on vaccines.

Please donate today to help save lives in India. 

*Through our membership in Canadian Foodgrains Bank, PWS&D is participating in the Humanitarian Coalition India COVID Crisis appeal.

Newsletter April 15, 2021

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

          All this sunshine and warm weather does me a lot of good! It’s no secret that one of my favourite hymns is In the bulb there is a flower and it always comes to mind at this time of year. In the first verse it says, “In the cold and snow of winter/ there’s a spring that waits to be/ unrevealed until its season/ something God alone can see.”

I feel like a small glimpse of that mystery is being revealed at this time of year. I pray that we all feel a sense of renewal despite the fact that we are still living in the shadow of a pandemic. I know many of you have appointments for your vaccine and I hope to be on the list soon! I hope that this is another sign that the tides are changing. We will, however, continue to follow all health orders which means that for the time being there are no in-person gatherings at the church. However, I am available for outdoor one on one pastoral visits either in backyards or at the church. The second verse of the hymn has the line, “There’s a dawn in every darkness bringing hope to you and me.” May we see dawn on our horizon as spring has sprung!

 

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM SESSION:

On March 18th the Moderator of the General Assembly, The Rev. Amanda Currie sent out a pastoral letter to all Presbyterian Churches in Canada. The session received this letter at our most recent meeting and wants to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to read it. This letter was written in light of the church’s promise to rebuild broken relationships and to respond pastorally to LGBTQI people who have been harmed in the church. This is a continuation of a letter of repentance written in 2017 by the then moderator the Rev. Peter Bush. To read the letter in its entirety please go to:

https://presbyterian.ca/2021/03/18/keeping-our-promises/

 

NEW BEGINNINGS BUILDING PROJECT:

There is a congregational meeting on April 22nd at 7pm over zoom. This is to address the report from the New Beginnings Building Committee with regards to building affordable housing on our property. This report was sent out on April 8th. Please read and review the report. If you did not receive the report please email or call the office for a copy.

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Congregational Meeting RE NBBC
Time: Apr 22, 2021 07:00 PM Vancouver

MESSAGE FROM THE FELLOWSHIP GROUP REGARDING THRIFTY SMILE CARDS:

Thank you to everyone in the congregation who has been participating in the Thrifty Smile Card Program. When we apply to participate in this program we need to identify a goal for the funds. We have used the funds over the years to maintain a well-equipped kitchen that meets all safety codes.

Thrifty Foods is changing the way they operate the program beginning June 15, 2021. After that date your current Smile Card will no longer be able to be used to raise funds for the church. We would encourage you to continue to use it until then to maximize the funds we will be able to raise under the current program.

The new program will no longer allow participants to load up their own card, but instead we would need to purchase cards with pre-loaded amounts and then resell them to the congregation. This is not something that we feel that we will be able to manage, so it is with regret that the Fellowship Group will no longer be participating in the Smile Card program as of June 15. Please continue to use your current card until then and thank you again for your support.

LENTEN PROJECT UPDATE:

THANK YOU!!! We collected $2740 for our Lenten Project. This year we raised funds for the Mt. Washington Ski Patrol, in honour of Al Wedel, and the Comox Valley Head Injury Society, in honour of Gord Johnson. Thank you for your generosity!

Al  Wedel Gord Johnson

Newsletter April 22, 2021

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

 CONGREGATIONAL MEETING TONIGHT

There is a congregational meeting TONIGHT (April 22) at 7pm over Zoom to address the report from the New Beginnings Building Committee with regards to building affordable housing on our property. The report was sent out on April 8th. Please read and review the report AND attend tonight’s meeting.

Topic: Congregational Meeting RE NBBC
Time: Apr 22, 2021 07:00 PM 
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

A Message from the Messy Minister`s Desk

MESSAGE FROM THE FELLOWSHIP GROUP REGARDING THRIFTY SMILE CARDS:

Thank you to everyone in the congregation who has been participating in the Thrifty Smile Card Program. When we apply to participate in this program we need to identify a goal for the funds. We have used the funds over the years to maintain a well-equipped kitchen that meets all safety codes.

Thrifty Foods is changing the way they operate the program beginning June 15, 2021. After that date your current Smile Card will no longer be able to be used to raise funds for the church. We would encourage you to continue to use it until then to maximize the funds we will be able to raise under the current program.

The new program will no longer allow participants to load up their own card, but instead we would need to purchase cards with pre-loaded amounts and then resell them to the congregation. This is not something that we feel that we will be able to manage, so it is with regret that the Fellowship Group will no longer be participating in the Smile Card program as of June 15. Please continue to use your current card until then and thank you again for your support.

Newsletter March 31, 2021

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

Holy Week is a funny time in the church calendar. For most of us the week doesn’t look all that different from any other week, aside from perhaps a couple extra services.   This year, like last year, it is different, and certainly the recent changes to restrictions have made that all the more poignant. We are living our own upheaval while constantly adapting to a “new normal”. In the Gospel according to Matthew after Jesus entered Jerusalem to shouts of Hosanna he then spent the next four days within his own upheaval. He cleansed the temple, cursed a fig tree, dealt with the authorities who tried trick him at every turn, and told some of his best parables (like the parable of the wedding banquet or the parable of the talents) all before Thursday night. This wasn’t a normal week for Jesus yet he continued to teach and preach and heal while the chief priests were plotting to kill him. I would encourage you to read Matthew 21-26:16 to find out all that Jesus got up to in those few days! Then I would encourage you to participate in the online shared services provided by some of my colleagues.  May we all find the space to live this holy week anew.

HOLY WEEK SERVICES:

April 1st: A pre-recorded Maundy Thursday meditation will be provided by St. John the Divine, Anglican Church and will be available on Thursday at: www.sjtdcourtenay.ca/live

April 2nd: A LIVE Good Friday service will be provided by St. George’s United Church at 10:30am. Information on the service can be found here stgeorgesunited.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/797054

April 4th: A LIVE Sunrise service will be provided by Cumberland Weird Church at 6:45am it can be found here:  www.weirdchurchcumberland.com

Our regular Easter service will be live streamed at 10:30am on our YouTube channel.

Rev. Jenn will be on study leave April 5-12th. A pre-recorded service provided by Presbyterian World Service and Development will be available on April 11th.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

On Thursday at 10:30am anyone interested is invited to a time of “Virtual Coffee Hour” over Zoom. There is no agenda, simply a chance to catch up and chat! This event is hosted by Marion Lade and Erica Farrell and you can connect:

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Coffee and Chat

Time: Mar 18, 2021 10:30 AM Vancouver

   Zoom COFFEE Meeting

LENTEN PROJECT:

April 4th is your last Sunday to contribute to our Lenten Project. We are raising funds for the Comox Valley Head Injury Society in honour of Gordon Johnson and the Mt. Washington Ski Patrol in honour of Al Wedel.

Newsletter April 29 2021

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

 

In my role as Moderator of the Presbytery of Vancouver Island I was asked to attend the UVic Multi-faith Centre’s virtual AGM.  If you thought congregational ministry was challenging, imagine trying to minister to students who aren’t on campus! Yet, like us, they have discovered that one of the perks of going virtual is that they can reach a broader group. There are people from all over the world participating in meditation gatherings and worship services! Now the big shift is preparing to offer in-person classes in September after a year of being completely virtual.

As we transition from Easter to the Ascension to Pentecost  I’m reminded that many transitions can be exciting and terrifying. This will be a common theme in upcoming sermons. Yet, new beginnings can also provide healing. This comes to mind  each time we discuss the affordable housing possibilities on our property. I was so pleased to see so many people attend the meeting and ask their questions! I know that the New Beginnings Building Committee is very excited about really getting going on the project. While we are also nervous, the committee is doing a great job accessing courses and resources, and meeting with people who have done similar projects. If the resurrection story has taught me anything it is that God is all about new beginnings!

 

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen: it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. – Hebrews 11:1

_________________________________________________________________________

MESSAGE FROM THE FELLOWSHIP GROUP REGARDING THRIFTY SMILE CARDS:

Thank you to everyone in the congregation who has been participating in the Thrifty Smile Card Program. When we apply to participate in this program we need to identify a goal for the funds. We have used the funds over the years to maintain a well-equipped kitchen that meets all safety codes.

Thrifty Foods is changing the way they operate the program beginning June 15, 2021. After that date your current Smile Card will no longer be able to be used to raise funds for the church. We would encourage you to continue to use it until then to maximize the funds we will be able to raise under the current program.

The new program will no longer allow participants to load up their own card, but instead we would need to purchase cards with pre-loaded amounts and then resell them to the congregation. This is not something that we feel that we will be able to manage, so it is with regret that the Fellowship Group will no longer be participating in the Smile Card program as of June 15. Please continue to use your current card until then and thank you again for your support.

 

What a privilege it was to give $1370.00 to the Comox Valley Head Injury Society! We hope to do a similar photo op with the Mt. Washington Ski Patrol. Thank you again for all your donations to this year’s Lenten Project!

Devotional March 28 2021

Did you know that donkeys have an incredible memory, studies have shown that they can recognize areas and other donkeys they were with up to 25 years a part. Donkeys were, and in some places still are, the preferred mode of transportation across harsh land. It is said that Egypt became the wealthy nation it was because of the precious metals carried from around Africa on the backs of donkeys. But one of the more intriguing facts about donkeys is that they have a reputation of being rather stubborn but it turns out that this is due to their highly developed sense of self preservation. It is difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it sees as contrary to its own best interest or safety. This is perhaps one of the reasons why donkeys can live for over 50 years. This is also why training a donkey relies on building a relationship with them. Truly, trainers must show through words and actions that they will protect the donkey before a donkey will follow instructions.  Training a donkey can take years and takes a great amount of effort with each new owner. It is this fact that connects us to the familiar story of palm Sunday and should cause us to look at this familiar story in a new way.

In Mark’s version of events, as Jesus and his disciples are approaching Jerusalem he sends two of his disciples to get a colt, a young male donkey. The term colt is often used to mean an un-castrated male donkey or horse, which implies it has a bit of a wild side. But did you notice anything about the instructions? Jesus says, “Go into the village ahead of you and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt.” Then if the disciples are questioned they are to say, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.” Remember, Mark loves that word. There is an immediacy to this story- and this immediacy points to God’s reign breaking in through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Things are about to go down!

But then with all this immediate language why does Jesus spend so much time explaining to the disciples where and how they should get the colt, the foal of a donkey. Why does Mark, who is known for being abrupt in his writing, really getting to the point quickly, spend so much time detailing what happens when the disciples go to pick up the colt. And what is with the little detail that the “colt has never been ridden”? Mark spends more than half of these eleven verses talking about this donkey. Why?

Many commentators have suggested that one of the reasons Mark spends so much time emphasizing the details around procuring the colt is to give his readers time to remember the prophecy found in Zechariah. It is found in chapter 9:9 and says, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”  This is to signal that Jesus is the one who they have been waiting for. The one who will nonviolently bring peace. Although I would argue that crucifixion is a pretty violent death. If you know other versions of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, you know that Matthew is really clear and states that Jesus riding on the donkey, “took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet.” Ok, so some of this detail is to link Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with a prophecy. But why so much detail and why this mention that the colt has never been ridden before.

Jesus is turning the understanding of power and kingship on its head. You see, regardless of what is written in Zechariah, already, having a king ride on a colt rather than in a chariot with weapons-a-blazing, is flipping the image of kingship on its head. Jesus comes in peaceful and relatively quiet way. Likely Jesus knew about the verse in Zechariah but Jesus also lived under military occupation. In fact, in 332 BCE Alexander the Great, having conquered “Tyre and Gaza after terrible sieges…Jerusalem opened its gates to him without a fight.” And we can imagine how Alexander would have paraded about showing his might and force. Pilate, who is clearly in town for the festival of the passover, would have entered in a similar fashion. May even be entering the city on the same day at the same time as Jesus. Jesus riding a donkey points to the humility of Christ but it also demonstrates that while Jesus’ entry is nonviolent it was still an act that put him in danger. This is a risky act that will indeed push both political and religious leaders to decide that his actions must be stopped. While Jesus riding on a colt is a humble act, it did enough damage to the idea of kingship that the authorities saw it as a threat.

But before we think that Jesus is being demure or subservient by choosing a colt, we come back to this idea that the colt has never been ridden before. This is a significant fact. First, for any animal it would be unusual for it to allow anyone to ride it, if it had never been ridden before, but based on what we know about donkeys this is particularly true. Donkeys require trust, let alone being “broken in.” Jesus, however, has great authority and power so much so that the natural world can come under his influence. Jesus has a kind of power and authority that is not about kingship or political leadership but a power that is even greater than any earthly conception of power. And here Jesus demonstrates that power by riding an unbroken colt. Here Jesus’ reconciling power over all creation is played out.

The people who are witnesses to this event do know that something special is taking place. While they may not know that Jesus subdued a colt they do recognize the symbolism of Jesus riding in on a donkey. Many people turn the dusty land into a red carpet entrance by throwing their own cloaks upon the ground. The fanfare takes shape in earnest as they begin to spread leafy branches on the ground and wave them with shouts of hosanna! There is excitement and exaltation in the air. They have their hands in the air and they are exclaiming, “Hurray! Jesus is number 1!

But it is important for us to remember that this act of peaceful nonviolence, this act of riding in on an unbroken donkey, this triumphal entry into Jerusalem means that the shouts of “Hosanna!” and “Jesus is number 1”! Will be replaced with “Crucify” in less than a week. It’s a tough transition- palms to passion to paschal mystery, but Jesus’ relationship with God is such that Jesus trusts the process, loves the people, wants to show the depths of God’s protection. And he does it all by riding in on a colt, the foal of a donkey, that has never been ridden before. Amen

Newsletter October 16, 2020

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

At this week’s Session meeting we opened with Lamentations 3:19-33. Lamentations is an oft overlooked book of the Bible in part because it’s authorship is unknown and because it is included in the prophetic literature but comes across as more wisdom literature. Yet, I have found that Lamentations speaks to our times very well. In his introduction to the book Eugene Peterson writes, “Lamentations is a concentrated and intense biblical witness to suffering. Suffering is a huge, unavoidable element in the human condition. To be human is to be suffer. No one gets an exemption…Lamentations, written out of the Exile experience, provides the community of faith with a form and vocabulary for dealing with loss and pain.” Well, we are definitely not experiencing exile but I know that isolation can feel like it! Lamentations, however, is also filled with hope and the passage from chapter 3 talks of always having hope for help from God. It even says that God’s stockpiles of loyal love are immense and God will never walk out and fail to return.  As we plan to re-open in careful ways I pray that we can all feel the hope with which we are surrounded.

The Session met on Tuesday Oct. 13th. Here are some very important highlights:

We will begin in person services following the guidelines in the Re-opening plan with a trial run on Sunday Nov. 1st at 10:30am

Sunday, Nov. 8th will be an on-line only service (pre-taped).

If the in-person service is successful we will resume on Sunday, Nov. 15th.

The guidelines are provided below and must be followed. Elders will also be in touch with you about the guidelines. We will have a formal registration process in place by next week.

Small church committees are also permitted to in the building so long as they too follow the re-opening plan. Those guidelines will be sent to all committee chairs.

At this stage Joy to the World Nativity Display is also considering how they can proceed in a safe manner. Please pray for them as they envision what the event may look like during Advent 2020.

We are looking for volunteers to be a part of our Building and Property Committee. The mission of this committee is to ensure that adequate care and maintenance requirements for the CVPC building and grounds are met. We are also very grateful for the work of Dave Sherstone who has served as chair for many years. His term as chair completes in January 2021. Please contact Dave if you have any questions.

OTHER IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Trinity: The God We Don’t Know Bible study is wrapping up. Our last sessions will take place Oct. 21st at 2pm (in-person) and Oct. 22 at 7pm (over zoom). We will also have the privilege of a Q&A session over zoom on Wednesday Oct. 21st at 7PM with the author, Jason Byassee.

You can join using the link below (N.B. THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM THE THURS. LINK)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88234767912?pwd=U1BvYTVxOEMyY2tjVHdDVzhkYjJFUT09

OR by phoning 1-778-907-2071 (BC) and following the prompts

Meeting ID: 882 3476 7912

Passcode: 764463

 I will be away on holidays Nov. 2-9. There will be a pre-taped service for Nov. 8th available mid-week on our YouTube channel. For any pastoral emergencies please contact Angela Hope, 250-650-8830.

GUIDELINES FOR RE-OPENING In-Person Worship

With God’s help we continue to navigate unknown waters both as a society and as a congregation.  As a Session we feel that the time is right to begin a trial of in person attendance at services.  Our priority is to maintain safety for everyone involved by following the provincial guidelines.

Our first in person service of worship will be at 10:30 on Sunday, Nov. 1.  We will then take a break for a week to evaluate how things went and if all goes well we will resume in person services on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Of course these services can’t look or feel like they did before COVID-19!  So here are some changes to our usual procedures we’ll need to follow.

  1. We will need to maintain 2 metre distances at all times so our seating will be very limited. That means that you will need to pre-register in order to attend.  You can pre-register by phoning the office by NOON on the Friday before or registering online at https://reopen.church/r/G7rtRqfx .  We will be giving priority to those who wish to attend who do not have access to the internet to watch the service on-line.
  2. When you arrive you come in through the front doors only. The doors will open about 15 minutes prior to the service.  An usher will greet you with hand sanitizer and politely remind you to wear a mask.  They will also ask you the usual COVID-19 questions that you get everywhere you go these days.  Please maintain physical distance as you are entering and any time you are in the building.  Another usher will check off your name on the pre-registration list.  This will also help the Health Authority with contact tracing should that ever become necessary.  If your name is not on the list we will ask you to enjoy the service from your car through the FM broadcast or to return home and watch it on-line.
  3. As you enter the hall through the front doors, you can place your offering envelope in the plates on the table, there will be no collection during the service, and place any prayer requests in the bowl. You must write out your prayer requests at home so that we don’t create a traffic jam or handle too many items.
  4. The chairs will be arranged with appropriate spacing and you can sit together with one other from your family bubble. The service will remain about a half hour long.  The music may be pre-recorded. There won’t be any group singing, and may not include responsive readings or unison prayers.  You could hum softly with the music under your mask.  Once everyone is seated an usher will take photograph of the hall so we have a record of where everyone was seated, again an aid to contact tracing.
  5. At the end of the service you will be asked to remain seated until an usher indicates its your turn to leave so that we maintain physical distance. Everyone will leave by the back doors.  We would ask that you continue to maintain physical distancing outdoors as well and not congregate in groups.  We’ll have to wave our greetings to each other!
  6. The washrooms and kitchen remain closed as we do not have adequate cleaning abilities to open these up. Please keep all your personal belongings with you, including your coat.

We are not yet ready to begin offering Children in Worship, one step at a time!

You can of course continue to worship from home, watching the live stream of the worship service.  You can also listen to the service from the parking lot on FM at 88.1.

We are one as God’s family and we care for each other, holding each other’s safety in our hands. As a Session we hope that this small step towards re-opening worship is an uplifting experience for you, but only participate if you feel safe and comfortable doing so.

Corinne Wester

Clerk of Session

October 11, 2020 Newsletter

 

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

            Today the weather is changing. The wind is rustling and the sky is grey. I heard this morning that there were rain warnings for parts of the island with nearly 100mm of rain! But even on a day like today October is my favourite month. In the iconic book Anne of Green Gables she exclaims, “I am so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers.” I couldn’t agree more. I pray that as the season transitions we are reminded that God is with us throughout the transitions of our lives. Sometimes our days are filled with bright colours, like those on the maple and oak trees in the church parking lot, and sometimes our days are filled with dark clouds and blowing wind, like this morning. Yet, God is in and with it all. At this week’s Bible study we read a portion of the Living Faith (one of the PCC’s statements of faith) where it says, “Jesus understands us. He felt the joy of friendship, the pain of rejection, and died a human death.” This helps me to know that no matter the kind of day I am having that Jesus knows what it’s like. As thanksgiving approaches and we are all aware that it will feel different this year I encourage you to give thanks for all that brings you comfort and joy.

Angela Hope, our Pastoral Care Assistant, sent me this wonderful statement about gratitude. Gratitude is known to reduce pain, improve sleep quality, aid in stress regulation, reduce anxiety and depression, reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and strengthens the immune system

May it remind us all to give thanks!
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a
friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
  • Melody Beattie

Thank you to Maryka and Corinne for this beautiful thanksgiving display!

ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR Oct 11th

A reminder to elders that we have a Session meeting via zoom this tuesday, Oct 13th at 7pm

The annual Child Haven Dinner will look different this year. Child Haven International is a registered Canadian charity that assists children and women in developing countries who are in need of food, education, health care, shelter and other supports.

Instead of the usual sit down meal this year the Datt family are offering take away meals by e-transfer.

 

Child Haven International 2020 Fundraising Event

Friday, October 16, 5 PM

DUE TO COVID: in lieu of the

17th ANNUAL CHILD HAVEN DINNER We will be selling a

FULL VEGETARIAN INDIAN DINNER FOR TAKE AWAY

 from the 3rd street side of the 

COURTENAY LEGION 367 CLIFFE AVENUE

Up the covered ramp: physical distancing will be practiced

DINNER FOR 4 $50

PAYMENT BY E-TRANSFER

For more information, contact Heather at 250.338.2181